Democracy & Cuba

From: Asfilho@AOL.COM
Date: Sat May 17 2003 - 07:19:02 EDT

I agree with Riccardo on the importance of democracy for socialism. This is a
fundamental issue for any revolution and any process of transition. Clearly
there were severe shortcomings (this is an understatement) in this respect in
the early years of the Soviet Union (I am talking about the repression of the
non-bolshevik left & similar groups; I have no problem with the summary
execution of the Romanovs - surely we all agree that the Revolution was not
obliged to respect the human rights of the Czar & Co., and that chopping off
the head of Louis XVI was also unavoidable). It is quite possible that the
same applies to Cuba, in the early 60s as well as now.

However, this is a general statement, with little import on the specific case
of the death penalty that we have been talking about.

Whereas state terrorism and mass repression must be avoided and resisted if
necessary, even during (purported) socialist transitions,
politically-inspired kidnappings, sabotage and individual right-wing
terrorism must be crushed by the socialist state. There can be no
equivocation, because the alternative is the White Terror, foreign invasion
or both. This is true for revolutionary France, the USSR and Cuba.

The *way* to crush terrorism against the socialist or revolutionary state and
its people - the precise relationship between mass (armed) vigilance, public
demonstrations, propaganda, police and intelligence work, undercover deals,
changes in the law, etc, depends on the circumstances, and it can shift over
time. But I would not make a point (this is a general statement, not a
comment on previous posts) of requiring that any socialist state, or
revolutionary regime, must respect the UN or European charter on human rights
at all times, as a condition for my support, or in order to have the right to
be called socialist or whatever. This is not a matter choice, it is an
imposition of reality; otherwise we would become armchair intellectuals, tied
by our ethics to the principle of non-action (this is, again, a general
statement rather than a comment on previous posts).


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